leaf graphicLooking back over the last 2 to 3 years you know how hard it has been to run a business in this climate. As we go into the next 6 to 12 months we are facing even more uncertainty.  It is very unlikely that the new tax and budget issues will make things any easier on your running your small business.  With some of the issues being resolved, there are still a lot of questions concerning taxes, national budget, and even health care. As uncertainty still looms over most small business owners, they tend to slow down hiring and take a step back in most areas of the company.  When companies learn that if ran more efficiently they are able to operate just as well with 80% of their workforce as they did with 100%.

According to the Federal Reserve, the economy is only projected to grow by 3% in 2013, that is not a large amount of movement.  That is, however, better than the 1.7% growth in 2012.

As a small business owner, do you feel encouraged by the way that economy is moving?

Below are just a few of the issues that you, the small business owner, will face in the next 6 to 12 months.

Taxes

When the federal government missed the fiscal cliff, small business owners gained higher rates on a set of taxes while also gaining specific credits and deductions that some might find helpful.   Most have found out that your higher taxes will not be the only expenses that you incur.  You should expect to incur more time, money, and worry when it comes to preparing your returns and making changes to your payroll systems.

80% of small business owners have said that the new tax regulations are at least hurting them a little.  Some of the pain has been faced with reducing employee pay, reducing your pay, and other areas just to pay for a 2% increase in the payroll tax.  Also included in the new tax raise is higher income and Medicare tax rates.

So far, only the area mentioned is bad of tax reform.  There have been several credits and deductions renewed that are built with small businesses in mind.  One credit that was added for 2013 that could be helpful to most small business owners is The Work Opportunities credits.  As a small business owner, you can put money back into your pocket if you hire military veterans, workers coming off government assistance, or ex-felons.

It is important to team with a qualified Payroll Management company to make sure that you everything set-up right when it comes to employment.

Admiral Employer Services can help you set-up your Payroll and make sure that you qualify for available tax and employment credits.  Save time and money by working with a Payroll Services provider.

Health Care Reform

Another topic that has been on the minds of small business owners is Health Care Reform.  If you are like most people you are still left with more questions than answers when it comes to health care for your small business.  You can either spend the time learning for yourself all of the laws and regulations or you could partner with a company that is constantly monitoring new legislation.

Under the new legislation if your company has 50 or more employees you will be required to provide affordable health care starting January 1st, 2014.  This year, however, there are health care exchanges being set-up so that you can see how much the new insurance will cost you.  One of the more confusing aspects of the reform is that a lot of small business owners don’t know whether their state will have an exchange or if they will have to file under the federal system.  This situation makes it hard for you to know what your costs are going to be.

When the time comes for the required insurance to kick in, you might have to make the decision like many other small business owners.  Is it just cheaper to provide coverage or take the $2,000 per-employee hit for not having coverage?  If your company is close to having 50 employees, you may choose not to hire any new employees.

The new laws and regulations that go into effect at the end of the year are going to cause some confusion.  Make sure you seek out professional advice for any decision that you eventually make.  If you make the wrong decision it could cost you.

Lending

If you are looking to expand your company, don’t expect the lending procedure to get any easier in the coming months.  Most small business owners are reluctant to grow with the uncertainties of the economy.  If you are willing to take the risk, right now may be the best time for growth, but you need money in order to do that.

Banks have grown even more hesitant of handing out small business loans in recent years and it seems as though that trend is unlikely to change in the near future.

It isn’t just small business loans that seem to have the banks scared, it is also home equity loans, a source for small business growth, that has also taken a substantial hit.  This is due, in large part, to their role in the collapse of the mortgage market on 2008.

There is a bright side.  There was a bill introduced this year to Congress that would allow credit unions to make more loans to small business owners.  The bill could double the number of assets available for small businesses from credit unions.

Filling Job Positions

While the unemployment rate continues to fall in the past months, there is still a large number of people without jobs.  Even though there are a large number of people without jobs, most small business owners are still having trouble finding the right people for their available positions.

Small business owners are having a hard time finding people that have the right skills necessary.  Most new manufacturing jobs are requiring high-tech skills, that once didn’t require any training.  Some new positions require several years of training before owners are comfortable with a skill-set.  The days are gone of taking someone off the street to work in factories.

Due to the ever-changing world of technology, small business owners struggle to find qualified workers in 2013.  One of the biggest issues is that training is having a hard time keeping up with the demands of high-tech jobs.

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